13 Oct 2010

University plans will increase inequality

South East MEP: ‘Future Of Sussex University Under Threat’Next week I'm going with my godson to visit a university where he hopes to study - but times are looking set to get very hard for students. It will be interesting to see what sort of a U-turn the Liberal Democrats might do - as we all know most of them signed a pledge not to increase tuition fees before the May general election.

Vince Cable has gone out on a limb, arguing that they need to do something more progressive than a graduate tax. Yet how can that be possible with market-based fees? There can be nothing progressive about £7,000 fees. Many students voted Lib Dem knowing their pledge - they cannot and must not u-turn or how can anyone believe any promise made?

“The Browne review is simply a bid to shift the cost of education away from the state and onto the student. It will mean our public degrees will be among the most costly in the world. Many people will be priced out of going to university. A free market in tuition fees can only increase inequality. The Greens said the Browne review’s findings were “not appropriate for a country that values social mobility and inclusiveness.” Green MP Caroline Lucas (pictured above outside Sussex Uni)

"A market in course prices between universities would increasingly put pressure on students to make decisions based on cost rather than academic ability or ambition. Those already feeling the pinch will clearly be unwilling to take such a gamble and face being priced out of the universities that would opt to charge sky-high fees." Aaron Porter, president of the National Union of Students

"Graduates are currently leaving medical school with an estimated £37,000 worth of debt under the present £3,290 annual fee. There is the potential that some students could incur debts up to and beyond £100,0000 if fees are set at £10,000 or above by medical schools." British Medical Association

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